Mexican Drug Cartels Interferes with Avocado Industry

(Photo : Wikimedia)

Avocados are being called by scientists as a 'superfood.' An article from DW stated that drug cartels in Mexico are in control of a billion-dollar 'superfood' trade and it is causing fears to the entire region. 

The Mexican Town: Uruapan

A Mexican town is dubbed as the global capital of avocados. A town in central Mexico where 300,000 residents live. Uruapan is a site where elderly people can be seen as having chats near the local church in the area. Also, women can be spotted selling toys made of wood. However, this calm description does not represent the overall situation of the area. 

In the past few years, Uruapan has transformed into one of the most dangerous Mexican cities. The Inegi stats of Mexico had reported a total of 297 deaths in 2018 alone. This total is normally reached in places where war is occurring.

Latest Killing

Silvia Martinez (not her real name), an executive of one of the biggest avocado exporters in Mexico, knows the reason behind the current situation of Uruapan. His company ships loads of avocados to the United States every day.

According to Martinez, the latest death the occurred in the area was two weeks ago. She reported that there was a distributor who was discovered dead near his vehicle. She was trying to fight her tears from falling with the memory. She expressed her fear for someone who might take her life. 

The Once Peaceful City in Michoacan, Mexico

According to Martinez, her hometown was once a peaceful place. However, when the narcos entered and put control over the region, everything changed. 

She shared how the narcos would use force to eliminate those who go against them.

The Mexican Avocado Industry's Statistics

Michoacan, the state in Mexico where Uruapan is situated, contributes 40% of the total avocados grown worldwide. The majority of the products go to the United States. 

In 2018, Mexico exported avocados amounting to $2.7 billion to the United States of America alone. 

Currently, a kilogram of avocados is worth approximately $1.40 in Uruapan while in the United States it is $1.30 per avocado.

Drug Cartels and the Bigtime Avocado Industry

A political scientist from the national university of Mexico named Javier Oliva revealed that there is an increasing conflict in the state of Michoacan. The conflict rises between the Los Viagras and the Jalisco Nueva Generacion cartels. 

It is to be noted that these cartels are still primarily trading illegal drugs such as marijuana and cocaine.

There is an inclining competition and the total criminal cartels had increased from four to 250 Mexican criminal units. Oliva stated that criminal activities include, human organ trade, robbery, oil theft, and prostitution. He also added avocados to the list.

The Global Market of Avocados

The avocado's recent reputation as a 'superfood' had allowed its market to grow in the past years. Its demand in Germany had increased from 2008 to 2018, says the National Statistics Office. Scientist claims that the avocado packs a lot of nutrients. It is also being seen as a protection from stroke and diabetes.